Wednesday, July 08, 2009

More Flat Stage Drama

Another sprinters stage that didn't want to follow the script. This time, it was a breakaway that managed to stay away thanks, in part, to a power struggle between Columbia-HTC and all the other teams with sprinters. It seems nobody is interested in helping to tow the fastest man in the world to the line. And Columbia is tired of doing all the work by itself. This battle of wills was good for Thomas Voeckler, who managed to outsmart his breakaway companions and survived to win the stage. Mikhail Ignatiev survived too, taking second place ahead of a hard-charging Mark Cavendish. The big loser today was Robert Gesink. He crashed and finished the race 10 minutes back, only to discover after the stage that he'd broken his wrist. His first Tour is done.

Over in the FGBC Tour de France Pool, Dallas scored 295 points to take the stage win. Usually his team is noteworthy for the inclusion of cyclocross racers on its roster. It's a nice nod to the sweetest cycling discipline in the world, but perhaps not the best strategy for a grand tour cycling pool. But John Gadret and Enrico Franzoi are not doing the Tour this year, so Dallas's team is performing a little better than usual. FGBC'ers Cousin Adam and Naomi were second and third today, with 245 and 205 points, respectively. This is good, because after yesterday there was no FGBC presence in the top 20 despite 4 RRR teams being in the mix. Now Adam is there and Chris D has dropped out, so things are moving in the right direction.

While we have had different stage winners for each of the five stages so far, the overall race has remained surprisingly consistent. Melissa still leads King Andy and Brad the Impaler. But it's all still very close at the top of the standings.

Results and standings here.

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